Improving the Employee Experience


By Neal Glatt

If you’re struggling to attract or keep employees, it’s really coming down to just one question: What’s it like to work for you?  It can be hard to know for sure, which is why the best companies use anonymous surveys to find out.  But a survey is only as good as the questions it contains.  Here’s what you need to ask to improve the employee experience.

We first need to ask employees about their basic needs.  Do they know what’s expected of them (about 50% say they don’t) and do they have the materials and equipment to do their job correctly (2 in 5 say they don’t)?  It’s easy for employers to be dismissive of these questions because they believe they’ve been clear.  But the truth is far more nuanced.

Expectations on the job are about a lot more than what we’re doing on a job site.  For instance, there are cultural expectations about what to wear, when to arrive, and how to interact with one other.  There can be questions about breaks, paperwork, or end-of-the-day procedures.  Are these group activities done with everyone helping each other or done individually?  There isn’t a right or wrong answer, but there’s plenty of room for confusion around what’s expected of new employees.

The next set of questions is about individual contributions. These include questions about being able to bring your best every day, receiving care and recognition from superiors, and having encouragement from someone at work about developmental goals.  When employees don’t feel cared about for more than their contribution on the job, they are far less likely to be engaged at work.

The third set of questions to ask has to do with the teamwork environment.  Are people feeling inspired by the company’s purpose, and are teammates committed to quality work?  Do my opinions seem to count, and do I have a best friend at work?  These are qualities of belonging, which is critical for commitment and bringing out the best in each team member.

Finally, we need to ask employees about their development.  Do they have opportunities to learn and grow, and have they made progress in the last six months?  If not, they’re likely to be less proactive than they have the potential for,  and more likely to leave the organization for one which will help with development.

If you want to know more about the questions that make the difference at work, or how to improve the employee experience, you can hear Neal Glatt at the LANDSCAPES 2021 show on Thursday, Oct 31 at 3:30pm or the GIE+EXPO on Wednesday, Oct 30 at 4:30pm.  Or, if you won’t be in Louisville, check out our Keeping Good Employees course on GrowTheBench.

Tags: Employees , Environment , Workplace ,